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May 16 2014

In Which I Agree With Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum is on a book tour and during an appearance at an event at the University of Chicago he actually said something that I agree with. Instead of the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, why not just make all birth control free?

Santorum said that there are a lot of things that he does not agree with or believe to be moral, but that does not mean that those things should necessarily be illegal and contraception is one of those issues.

His concern, he explained, is with the government “forcing people who have views like me to go out and use my money to buy those products” because doing so infringes upon his religious liberty. What the government should have done, he suggested, if it wants to ensure that everyone has access to contraception is to announce that contraception will be provided free of charge by the government.

“It would be less objectionable to me,” Santorum said, “for the government to go out and say we’re going to pay for all the pharmacies to stock contraception and give them out free. Am I paying for it indirectly? Yes, through my taxes, but I pay for a lot of things with my taxes that I don’t like.”

Okay, let’s start with this: He’s lying. Come on, does anyone really believe he’d be okay with that? If the Obama administration did that, he’d go absolutely ballistic over it and make the exact same arguments he’s making now, that the government is forcing Catholics to violate their beliefs by making them pay for contraception (you know, the same argument he falsely makes about abortion, which the government is forbidden from funding). But his statement is correct. Birth control should be free and universally available. It would save us billions of dollars a year, reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions and be better for the country in almost every conceivable way.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    Synfandel

    Now hold on. If birth control is freely available, everyone will run around having sex all the time.

    Wait a sec…

    Birth control should be free and universally available.

  2. 2
    D. C. Sessions

    It would … be better for the country in almost every conceivable way.

    Couldn’t resist, could you Ed?

  3. 3
    brianfields

    This is a step to the left of the ACA! Shocked to see it from Santorum, but yes I agree too.

  4. 4
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    … contraception will be provided free of charge by the government.

    Whoah! Frothymix said what?

    *double take*

    No make that triple.

    Yes. That. Statement, Is. Correct. Chalk it up. (Blinks and examines the empty beer can.)

  5. 5
    vmanis1

    Even a stopped clock…

  6. 6
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Wait, is this what passes for republican sarcasm?

    Santorum’s sincerity seems of dubious veracity.

    Still … again .. Whoooah!

  7. 7
    raven

    It is rather shocking. Satanorum saying something sensible. I’m sure he will walk it back soon enough.

    Making BC free and universally available would save the federal government lots of money.

    Every $1 they spend on BC, saves them $3-$6 in other costs, welfare, food stamps etc..

    It would also lower the abortion rate. Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions in one day than the female slavery/forced birthers have in a year.

  8. 8
    colnago80

    It should be noted that Santorum claims he supports an increase in the minimum wage. He is apparently trying to position himself as a conservative populist.

  9. 9
    Modusoperandi

    I’m with him, too.
    I think it’s awful when the Government forces me to pay for things I disagree with so that others can have them for free and, like him, I also think the best solution is for the Government to force me to pay for things I disagree with so that others can have them for free.

  10. 10
    John Horstman

    Wait, so he actually moved the goalposts back to where they were originally?

  11. 11
    Neil Rickert

    His concern, he explained, is with the government “forcing people who have views like me to go out and use my money to buy those products” because doing so infringes upon his religious liberty.

    He is not being forced to use his money to buy those products. In terms of actual medical costs, birth control is less expensive than live births. Perhaps Santorum should instead complain that he is being forced to accept a subsidy provided by the users of birth control. And I would have sympathy with that complaint. I have no objection to allowing people like Santorum voluntarily pay more for their health insurance, so that they can avoid this subsidy.

  12. 12
    dugglebogey

    Can you imagine the paradise, or at least how much better the world would be if every single baby born was wanted and born intentionally?

  13. 13
    Mobius

    In Which I Agree With Rick Santorum

    World Ends

    Film at 11

  14. 14
    Chris J

    His concern, he explained, is with the government “forcing people who have views like me to go out and use my money to buy those products” because doing so infringes upon his religious liberty. What the government should have done, he suggested, if it wants to ensure that everyone has access to contraception is to announce that contraception will be provided free of charge by the government.

    I… What? Somebody better explain this to me, quick, before I blow some sort of fuse.

    There is no line item in an ACA insurance bill that says “payment for contraception service,” right? Isn’t it like saying that paying a gym membership is forcing you to pay for a specific piece of equipment that you object to using?

    What the bloody flip is the difference between this and taxes? Did Rick Santorum just believe his party’s bullshit about the ACA forcing people to pay for contraception, then attempt to be reasonable by agreeing with an even more radical position (free contraception by the government)? I… I just can’t. What?

  15. 15
    jasmyn

    Hmmm…I remember him saying that states had every right to make bc illegal. Sounds like he’s trying to appeal to a wider range of people without having to eat all of his words. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/rick-santorum-favors-making-birth-control-illegal/

  16. 16
    dingojack

    ‘I’m against the government forcing me to pay insurance to a company that will pay out to defray the cost of birth control because I think birth control is immoral. However I am for the government using the taxes I’m forced to pay to defray the cost of birth control even though I think it’s immoral’.

    Thus spake Rick ‘Distinction Without a Difference’ Frothymix.

    Dingo
    ——–
    PS: … and wasn’t BIG government legislating morals, EVUUUL SOCIALISTIC FASCIST HOMOBUTTSEKS or something?
    This black flip (with a triple pike) simply smacks of desperation.

  17. 17
    scienceavenger

    His concern, he explained, is with the government “forcing people who have views like me to go out and use my money to buy those products

    This is a complete red herring, and more people should be calling it out as such. Saying it’s immoral to buy a health care plan because someone MIGHT use it to get birth control is like saying its immoral to buy someone a car because they MIGHT use it to run someone over, or immoral to buy someone a gun because they might use it to commit murder.

    Santorum’s religion says its immoral for HIM to use birth control. It doesn’t say dick about what others choose to do with something he gets them. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible about having to completely remove oneself from the chain of events that leads to an immorality. If it did, one would pretty much have to become a hermit to be moral.

  18. 18
    dingojack

    A ‘black flip’?!? I think I meant a ‘back flip‘.
    Sheesh
    Dingo

  19. 19
    Pen

    That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Where on earth does he think the government is going to get the money to offer free contraception, if not from the taxes of the people collectively?

    I’d be OK with them doing it though. IMO after water, food and shelter, contraception is the single most important commodity anyone can have.

  20. 20
    matty1

    It’s a first step, next thing they can start adding more and more healthcare ‘products’ that are tax funded instead of private market goods. Why I bet before you know it America could have a healthcare system like the rest of the first world.

  21. 21
    Crimson Clupeidae

    I pay for a lot of things with my taxes that I don’t like.

    This part in particular, seems surprisingly sensible coming from ol’ Frothy.

    I had a similar argument with the fucking liquor store clerk who thinks OR having state owned liquor stores is such a grand idea, mostly because it keeps poor people from buying liquor with their state/federal cash assistance. Nevermind that they can still buy beer and wine, as well as cigarettes, at the grocery store.

    She said she doesn’t want them buying liquor when ‘she’s paying for it’. Fuck that, I don’t want to pay for bombs, missiles, destroyers, aircraft carriers, etc., but poor people don’t have the same political pull as the big defense contractors…..

    …fuckin’ libertarians….

  22. 22
    Area Man

    His concern, he explained, is with the government “forcing people who have views like me to go out and use my money to buy those products” because doing so infringes upon his religious liberty. What the government should have done, he suggested, if it wants to ensure that everyone has access to contraception is to announce that contraception will be provided free of charge by the government.

    Am I missing something, or is Santorum objecting to his insurance premiums being used to purchase birth control but is just fine with his taxes being used to purchase birth control? How does he figure that the former violates his religious liberty but the latter does not? I don’t think he really thought this one through.

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